NEW DELHI: Continued heat wave due to a pause in the monsoon‘s progress and expanding economic activities pushed India’s peak power demand to a fresh record of 209.8 gigawatts on Wednesday. But higher thermal generation made possible by increased availability of coal as well as wind and hydro energy prevented power cuts from getting longer.
As per power ministry data, the new record was clocked at 2.55 pm and marked an increase of 1.3% over the previous record record of 207GW seen on April 29 at 2.50 pm. Full data for Tuesday showed consumption also rising to a record 4,676 million units (MU) from 4,578 MU on April 29, marking an increase of over 2%. The rising demand and consumption could have tripped the situation at a time when fuel stock is ‘critical’, or 25% below the normative level, at nearly half of the 173 coal-fired power plants monitored by the Central Electricity Authority. But a 16% annual increase in coal despatch and rising hydro and wind power have helped supply largely keep pace with the demand.
Coal-based power generation grew 26% in May from a year ago. But sequentially, it showed a negative growth of 3.8% at 98,609 MU against 1,02,529 MU in April, indicating hydro and wind power easing pressure on thermal capacity.





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